Arts Desk

Bruise Cruise: We’re Off the Boat

We're finally back in Miami. But in our last few hours on the Carnival Imagination, the Bruise Cruise shook itself out of its early-Sunday malaise.

That much, anyway, was clear when late in the afternoon Black Lips bassist Jared Swilley hurled his instrument into the ocean, after the group shot some footage for a music video and made rock poses for the Bruise Cruise's sizable photographer corps (among Bruisers' most common accessories:SLRs). It was a weekend light on rock antics, but here, finally, the Black Lips were living up to their destructive reputation. (In an interview, Swilley told me he set someone's hair on fire at  Señor Frogs; I pretty much believe him.)

By 5:30 p.m., the party was back on: encore sets in Xanadu lounge by Thee Oh Sees and Quintron, and for the first time all weekend, an open bar for an hour. Thee Oh Sees were killer. The crudités were OK.One Bruiser was serenaded with "Happy Birthday. "That's a terrible song," Svenonius said from the stage. Between sets, the PA pumped the kinds of songs we listened to all weekend—only from 40 years ago. Think 13th Floor Elevators and gritty, obscure soul.

By the time the Bruisers snaked to the ship's Pride dinning hall, they had no business not being fucked up.

Bruisers made up the majority of the room—when possible, the boat quarantined us from the ship's regular cruisers—which was probably for the best. At several points, the majority of the dining room clinked its glasses; it also gave a round of applause to the Bruise Cruise's organizers. The consensus in the room: Big success.

The raucousness continued into the night—first, per herd patterns, on the Lido deck, and then later in a downstairs lounge, where Black Lips drummer Joe Bradley, wearing a tuxedo, played piano and sipped from a snifter. I threw in the towel arouind 1:45 a.m. and went to bed, but the party was still going.

Photos by Darrow Montgomery

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